Unity? Just now?

Ranking provincial government, Army and Philippine National Police officials participate the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Negros Oriental. The activity, held Wednesday (Aug. 7, 2019) at the Negros Oriental Convention Center in Dumaguete City, aimed to identify the problems/issues and interventions to solve the province’s insurgency problem. (Photo by Judy Flores Partlow)

EDITORIAL

Better late than never. On its 50th year of insurgency and rebellion, the provincial government, after the recent killing-spree in seven critical towns and two cities of the first district, is now talking about unity.

Well, better late than never. But how late indeed! Unity, which is the basic element in good governance, is now admitted to have been absent all these years which is the reason of the violence and unrest that have exploded in the mountains particularly in the first district of Negros Oriental.

Take the last elections. It was an exercise of disunity. Political parties, clans and feuding families have taken sides in the political exercise. One thing, the governor and the congresswoman in the first district are very much at political odds. The conflict goes down the line. To the last man.

It has reached a point when cases upon cases of graft and corruption have been filed against the governor and still pending. This atmosphere of political animosity has given the communist insurgents a huge opportunity to expand the divide by directly “helping” the people with their basic needs and giving them their presence, assuring them of their own version of “security,” since the real civil government seems to be nowhere or at least is just superficially present.

In that grandiose meeting forming the provincial task force for unity held at the convention center with the DILG taking the lead, the body called the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict was formed. Finally! And for the first time in history. It may have had many names before, but definitely the goals were not fully achieved, as evidenced by recent political violent upheavals. And now this call for unity by an exasperated governor.

Yet, despite this obvious chronic long- running rebellion here and in many parts of the country, our civil government has continued to keep faith in the LGUs by not declaring martial rule, knowing fully well that military rule of the gun is not the solution.

Let’s face it: the Local Governments here are not in control . It is the military who is controlling because of the failure of local governments to EFFECTIVELY govern with PEACE.

Long story short:

Unless the local governments can show genuine, effective, credible, lasting , and most of all loving presence and service to their own constituents, believe you us, the desired solution of genuine peace in the first district of Negros Oriental will not (yet) be achieved.

As long as the local governments DEPEND on the military to achieve peace, the quest for genuine unity , harmony, and peace will continue to be an elusive dream not only for Negros Oriental but for any local government in the Phlippines. The answer will still be the same.

So, when will the real leaders wake up? Or are they around at all?